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Duluth City Council Tosses Spirit Mountain Financial Lifeline; Bad March Weather Blamed

Spirit Mountain coasterThe Duluth, Minn. City Council recently voted to extend an allocation of up to $300,000 to Spirit Mountain Ski Area and Adventure Park that will enable the financially troubled, city-owned recreation area to meet payroll and continue summer operations, according to a report in the Duluth News Tribune.

The ski area, which currently owes the city more than $1,000,000 for an extended line of credit, had a bad month of March. It was marred by warm, rainy weather and revenues were off by $300,000. New Spirit Executive Director Brandy Ream told the city council the resort hasn't been able to recover from a bad winter. She said they have instituted several cost cutting measures, but that it would take time to turn the financial situation around.

One of the council members praised her for her cost-cutting efforts in the first year, and noted that summer revenues were up from last summer.

One measure that will help Spirit was finally getting approval to build a line to draw water from St. Louis Bay for snowmaking operations. That means they won’t be billed for use of city water this coming winter, an anticipated savings of $150,000 in water bills. The pipeline is reversible, collecting water runoff from the spring snow melt and taking it back to the bay.

In addition to being one of the Midwest’s larger ski and snowboard areas with a 700-foot vertical drop, the Adventure Park offers the Heartland’s only Alpine Coaster, a zipline, lift served mountain biking, scenic lift rides, disc and mini golf, and day camp programs.

The ski area offers 22 runs, five chairlifts and three surface tows, mile-long runs, and one of the Midwest’s largest terrain parks.

 Photos: Spirit Mountain gets financial help from Duluth City Council. (Spirit Mountain)


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